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This chapter denounces the judgments of God against those wicked persons who remained in Jerusalem and made a mock of the types and predictions of the prophets, Ezekiel 11:1-13; compare Ezekiel 11:3 with Jeremiah 1:13. God promises to favour those who were gone into captivity, and intimates their restoration from the Babylonish yoke, Ezekiel 11:14-21. Then the shechinah, or symbol of the Divine Presence, is represented forsaking the city, as in the foregoing chapter it did the temple, Ezekiel 11:22, Ezekiel 11:23; and the prophet returns in vision to the place from which he set out, (Ezekiel 8:1. etc.), in order to communicate his instructions to his brethren of the captivity, Ezekiel 11:24, Ezekiel 11:25.
At the door of the gate five and twenty men - The same persons, no doubt, who appear, Ezekiel 8:16, worshipping the sun.
Jaazaniah the son of Azur - In Ezekiel 8:16, we find a Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. If Shaphan was also called Azur, they may be the same person. But it is most likely that there were two of this name, and both chiefs among the people.
It is not near - That is, the threatened invasion.
This city is the caldron, and we be the flesh - See the vision of the seething pot, Jeremiah 1:13. These infidels seem to say: “We will run all risks, we will abide in the city. Though it be the caldron, and we the flesh, yet we will share its fate: if it perish, we will perish with it.” Or they may allude to the above prediction of Jeremiah, in order to ridicule it: “We were to have been boiled long ago: but the fulfillment of that prediction is not near yet.”
Your slain - they are the flesh - Jerusalem is the caldron, and those who have been slain in it, they are the flesh; and though ye purpose to stay and share its fate, ye shall not be permitted to do so, ye shall be carried into captivity.
And deliver you into the hands of strangers - This seems to refer chiefly to Zedekiah and his family.
I will judge you in the border of Israel - Though Riblah was in Syria, yet it was on the very frontiers of Israel; and it was here that Zedekiah‘s sons were slain, and his own eyes put out.
Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died - Most probably he was struck dead the very hour in which Ezekiel prophesied against him. His death appears to have resembled that of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:1, etc.
Get you far from the Lord - These are the words of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, against those of Israel who had been carried away to Babylon with Jeconiah. Go ye far from the Lord: but as for us, the land of Israel is given to us for a possession, we shall never be removed from it, and they shall never return to it.
Yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary - Though thus exiled from their own land, yet not forgotten by their God. While in their captivity, I will dispense many blessings to them; and I will restore them to their own land, Ezekiel 11:17, from which they shall put away all idolatry, Ezekiel 11:18.
And I will give them one heart - A whole system of renewed affections.
And I will put a new spirit within you - To direct and influence these new affections.
And I will take the stony heart out of their flesh - That which would not receive the impressions of my Spirit.
And will give them a heart of flesh - One that is capable of receiving and retaining these impressions.
That they may walk in my statutes - The holiness of their lives shall prove the work of God upon their hearts. Then it shall appear that I am their God, because I have done such things in them and for them; and their holy conduct shall show that they are my people. See on Ezekiel 36:25 (note), etc.
But as for them whose heart walketh - Them whose affections are attached to idolatry, they shall have such reward as their idols can give them, and such a recompense as Divine justice shall award them.
The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city - This vision is no mean proof of the long-suffering of God. He did not abandon this people all at once; he departed by little and little.
First, he left the temple
Secondly, he stopped a little at the gate of the city.
Thirdly, he departed entirely from the city and went to the Mount of Olives, which lay on the east side of the city. Having tarried there for some time to see if they would repent and turn to him -
Fourthly, he departed to heaven. The vision being now concluded, the prophet is taken away by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, and there announces to the captive Israelites what God had showed him in the preceding visions, and the good that he had spoken concerning them; who at first did not seem to profit much by them, which the prophet severely reproves.